20 Oct 2008

Commission of Inquiry in Samoa into gun smuggling extended

5:58 am on 20 October 2008

A Commission of Inquiry in Samoa into the alleged smuggling of guns from American Samoa in a police patrol boat has been extended to hear more evidence.

The Police Commissioner, Papalii Lorenese Neru, is to provide

a duplicate of a cardboard box and a bag in which he received the smuggled guns.

Last Friday, the hearing was told by the Captain of the patrol boat, the MV Nafanua, Logoitino Filipo, that the package addressed to

the police commissioner, was stored in his cabin.

He said it had been given to him by Papalii Marion Fitisemanu, a former American Samoa police captain.

Meanwhile evidence from an American Samoa police special agent said crew members of the police patrol boat have denied any knowledge of the firearms being onboard the MV Nafanua in April.

However the evidence of the Customs officer who was on duty to clear the patrol boat when it arrived in Samoa says the package for the police commissioner was not declared in the ship's manifest.